by Workers Party Trade Union Group
Methodist Central Hall in Coventry was the venue last night for the Amazon Workers Support Group event who hosted an evening with Chris Smalls President of the US Amazon Labor Union (ALU). Smalls and his ALU colleagues are presently on a UK tour which has included speaking engagements at the TUC Black Workers Conference in London; GMB union recruitment at Amazon’s site in Swansea; and the evening in Coventry where the GMB Union – despite Amazon’s various union-busting tactics – is on the cusp of an historic union recognition victory at the fulfilment centre in the Midlands city.
The meeting at the Methodist Hall was well attended and featured video updates from the numerous early and late shift picket lines currently on-going at the Lyons Park site. The lively meeting was addressed by the Support Group and a number of GMB organisers who have been working to build the union in Amazon over the past decade. The American ALU guests provided the keynote speeches which were rapturously received referencing how the ALU was built against all the odds in an industrial relations environment more adverse than we have in the UK from the bottom up by working class people facing intimidation from Amazon and with no assistance from the major US unions such as the Teamsters nor the AFL-CIO union centre (the US equivalent of the TUC). One audience member notably said he hadn’t been this inspired by a union gathering since the events of 1984-5, which of course was a reference to the historic Miners Strike where Thatcher and her paramilitary police smashed the post-war settlement and the working class power that had built it in this country.
If you can, please donate to the GMB Coventry Amazon Workers Strike Fund and please ask your friends, family, union branches, clubs, community, faith and other groups to do the same by following the crowdfund link here: GMB are Standing with Amazon Workers.
Whilst we are in a different era to that of the mid-1980’s few would deny an upsurge in class consciousness and interest in trade unions is taking place across various public and private sector branches of the economy amid a major cost of living crisis and after decades of neo-liberalism (ie the class struggle waged by our rulers against us). The GMB campaign in Coventry – the detail to which can be read here…. (https://workerspartybritain.org/2023/05/02/) aims to build a bridgehead from which future union-building campaigns in other UK Amazon sites can grow. Given that so many of our people work or will work in this goods, logistics and distribution behemoth it is vital that the GMB’s campaign succeed.
Up the GMB and Up the ALU!
Solidarity from the WPB